North America relies on an aging electrical grid, some of which originated in the 1880s. This old and complex patchwork system of power generating plants, power lines, and substations operate cohesively to power homes and businesses.
Age is an important indicator of remaining life and structural strength. As equipment gets older, it breaks down causing an increasing number of power outages. A recent project investigated 2,300 “problem” transformers out of the total US installation base of 115,000 large power transformers. Of these 2,300, a total of 750 failed – for a failure rate of 32%! The industry cost of power interruptions caused by transformer failure can be considerable.
Transformers are the most important (and costly) equipment in an electrical power network. These aging pieces of the system put a difficult choice in front of the world’s electric utility companies: replace the critical transformers with new units or try to extend the working life of the existing fleet of older units.
We will be exhibiting a suite of products for the Transmission and Distribution industry at booth 3800 during the 2014 IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition in Chicago, IL from April 15-17th.
This is the 50th anniversary of the conference and will showcase the technologies, products, companies, and minds that will lead the industry through the next 50 years and beyond.
We understand that the power industry is facing challenges with aging equipment and needs technologies like online dissolved gas monitoring. Other technologies, such as fiber optics, pyrometry, and thermal (infrared) imaging help utilities monitor critical elements.
Transmission and distribution substations and assets are under heavy stress and are increasing in age without quick relief in sight. Utilities need to extend the life of their assets, and do so intelligently with automation to also compensate for the workforce that is aging and retiring. In order to accomplish this, more and more utilities are installing sensor technology on critical assets.
The value of continuous online sensor monitoring on transmission and distribution systems has been well documented. Benefits of this monitoring include such things as asset optimization, enabling condition based maintenance, detecting component failure before it actually occurs and enabling safe dynamic loading.
On February 27, 2014, an IEEE Power & Energy Society webinar will be held with Jeff Golarz, Director, T&D Solutions and Gas Products. In this webinar, Jeff will cover how the increased use of Sensors and Data collected influences the development of Smart Sensor technology with increased intelligence at the “edge” of monitored systems.
Click the button below to register for this FREE Webinar.
Earlier this month, I kicked off the “On the Grid” tour, traveling to Calgary to deliver presentations at two back-to-back conferences: Cigre Canada and TechCon Canada. I also gave two webinars last week and will take the message to San Francisco at the DataWeek conference on October 2nd and to Europe on November 11 at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in London.
Asking the non-rhetorical and very important question: How can the grid be smart if the infrastructure is stupid?, the topic of my talks was Big Data for Big Substations and the big challenges this brings for utility companies worldwide. Continue reading